Saturday, 27 November 2010

Nanowrimo update

This, my friends, is what it's all been about!  The last three and a half weeks of almost daily scribbling tapping at my keyboard, sitting, for the most part, in the sunshine in the conservatory, bringing characters to life.

And now they have all made their appearences in black and white, what to do with them?  The simple answer is, I really don't know!  Some of them I don't like, so they'll be filed away in the "out-takes" file.  Others have more to say than I have had time to write, so I can expand upon them at leisure.

Now it's time to prune out the dead wood, perhaps allowing new growth to spurt through.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll be brave enough, one day, to send it out into the world to seek a publisher.  Maybe.

Here's another brief extract of one of the latest characters for you:

Suri indicated right, and pulled her Mercedes in to the side of the road outside her parent’s house. It was a neat house, newly double glazed with gold rimmed diamond shapes inset into to the tops of the upper windows, just as her mother had requested. Her mother didn’t get her own way in many things, what married Asian woman did? So it was the least Suri could do to give her this small amount of power.

Suri let herself in, hung her coat on the hall peg, dropped her bag on the floor and went into the living room. Her mother stood up, smiled at her, and went into the kitchen to put on the pan of chai. It didn’t matter who arrived at the door, the pan of chai was set upon the heat. Her mother was a welcoming soul.

Suri followed her mother into the kitchen. She bent down and gave her a brief hug.

‘How has your day been, Mammaji?’

‘The usual. Auntie Miriam came round with the baby this morning, I’ve been cooking all afternoon. How was your day, Suribibi?’

‘Hard, but good. I’ve got a new client, so the partners are pleased with me. There should be a decent bonus at the end of the year.’

‘Your father will be so proud of you.’

‘I know. Can I help you with anything?’

‘Yes, you can roll out the millet breads for me. I will fry them. But first, sit down and drink your chai. Go through, I will fetch it for you.’

Suri walked back into the living room and perched on the large, blue and gold settee. Another of her mother’s choices. She kicked off her high heeled shoes, and wriggled her toes to restore the life to them. Why did she bother? Nobody there appreciated her long legs. Suri unpinned her long, black hair, allowing it to fall in a curtain down her back. She rubbed at her scalp where the pins had tugged.

Her mother came in with two steaming mugs of milky chai, and sat herself down beside her. She rubbed at Suri’s neck with her firm fingers, and Suri relaxed.

‘That feels so good, Mamma. Your fingers are very soothing.’

‘In India, all we girls learned to give a massage to relax stressed muscles.’
‘Well, I’m glad you did. Thank you.’
They sipped at their scalding tea, chattering about nothing in particular. The sound of a key turning in the lock had them both rushing for the kitchen. Suri quickly tied her hair into a pony tail, and began to take small pieces of the millet flour dough that her mother had made earlier in the day, forming them into balls, and rolling them deftly with a small wooden roller. Her mother had the gas jet on high under the two frying pans; she took the flat breads as Suri rolled them, slapping them down briskly on to the hot pans, turning them as they blistered, then cooking the undersides for a minute.

Time for a cuppa, now, I think I deserve it:-)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Nanowrimo update - extract

The sun is beating down outside (which reminds me, the washing machine must have finished by now, excuse me a minute!)  yes, it had finished, so I've hung out the washing, and made a cup of barley to warm my fingers up again - the sun might be out, but it's still pretty chilly from the frost early this morning!

I'm currently exceeding my target of a couple of thousand words a day, which is just as well because I'm off to see my parents for a long weekend, and doubt I'll get very much writing done then, so I need some words in the bank, so to speak.

Anyway, I've several characters fighting for their stories to be told, so here's the beginning of one chapter in my new novel WLTM - I hope you enjoy meeting Jim:-)  Keep warm!

“Snail WLTM similar, or lugger. Male, 62, seeks fellow traveller for friendship and holidays.”


Duvet – check. Pillow – check. Wash bag – check. Towels – check. Grocery box – check. Fridge stocked: sausages, bacon, butter, cheese, ham, lettuce, tomatoes, beer, soda water, bread – check. Jim ran down his list out of habit, not because he thought he’d ever forget anything, after all, he’d been doing this for thirty odd years, he ought to be well versed by now.

He whistled gently as he methodically worked through, loading the car carefully, following the plan he and Anna had worked out years ago. That way the car was properly balanced for weight against the caravan, and there was no chance he’d omit anything vital.
Jim walked back into the house and looked around. He caught sight of the small green compost bin at the side of the sink – oops, nearly forgot to empty it, that would have been a nasty surprised to return to after a couple of weeks away! He took it down to the bottom of the garden, warned the worms that he was about to lift the lid of the large, black, compost bin, then gave them their breakfast, and bid them goodbye. If Prince Charles could talk to plants, he saw no reason not to talk to his worms, they worked jolly hard for him, but then, he looked after them well.

He rinsed out the green bin and left it to drain. What else might he have forgotten? Oh, yes, the fridge. Jim removed the half bottle of milk, and the potatoes left over from his dinner last night. He took them out to the Lunar waiting patiently on the drive, and added them to the fridge. Surely now that was everything? He’d arranged with a neighbour to empty the post box, stopped the newspaper delivery, yes, he was certain that he was ready for the off.

Two hours later Jim indicated and pulled over into the lay by he always used on his way down to Norfolk. He lit the gas under the kettle, took down the tea pot, put a spoonful of leaves in, and sat down to read the paper for a few minutes. This was one of the good things about caravanning, a fresh cuppa whenever the fancy took you, with no exorbitant prices to pay. When the kettle whistled, he made his brew, then returned to the paper. He took out a pen from the top drawer, and began to do the crossword. He found it kept his brain agile to do the puzzles in the paper every day, he tried to complete the crossword, word wheel and sudoku, feeling very disappointed if he failed.

He’d made good inroads into the crossword by the time he’d finished his tea and a couple of chocolate digestives, and was ready to continue on his way.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Nanowrimo update

The worldwide insanity that is nanowrimo continues unabated.  All over the world, ordinary-seeming individuals are pandering to their secret, or not-so secret, desire to write a novel.  Any novel, not necessarily a best-seller, in fact, almost certainly  not a best-seller.  Probably not even something they'd allow their very best friend to read.

Only another member of the crazed brotherhood sisterhood nanowrimo family would understand that it doesn't matter if there are holes in the plot-line, that the main character seems to have changed his or her name in parts of the book, or that you ran out of steam after 55,000 words and the ending hasn't really happened.

All that really matters is getting down a minimum of 50,000 words of your potential novel.  That's my understanding, and I'm sticking to it.

I can't believe that I've kept up the momentum, and am achievimg my 2000 word a day target, but I am:-) not all my chapters are finished, but that doesn't matter, I've plenty of time to go back and complete them.  What I'm concentrating on is setting the characters up, and that's working.

MAybe I'll give you a taster next week, maybe.

double rainbow! wow!!

I've never seen one before, and now I have:-)

I wasn't best pleased at the tap on the window - who really wants to go outside when it's teeming down with rain and they're busy writing?  Oh, you would, would you?  Well, I can't say I was all that eager to go out there, but when he motioned to bring my camera, I realised that I'd better get a move on!

I believe that all the gods in the heavens had left their showers on full and gone out for the day, it was torrential rain pouring down on my poor street!  I grabbed my most waterproof cagoule and camera, no, not a waterproof camera, just the cagoule, and slipped my feet into boots and ventured out.  He was waiting at the top of the drive, beckoning me.  I went to meet him.

He pointed, I stared, open-mouthed, then switched on the camera and clicked.  Two rainbows, one above the other, embraced the end of the road.  What a spectacular sight!  I've heard of them, but never seen an example of nature's gift displayed for us like this.  Almost close enough to touch.

My photos don't do it justice, and I'd suggest that you enlarge them to get the benefit of them, but they give you a flavour of the majesty that the sky presented that day, I hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Nanowrimmo - I've started!

Well, what do you know, I've actually started my novel.  Not only that, I exceeded my self imposed target of 2000 words yesterday - not by a huge margin, I admit, but I got to 2093 before I decided that enough was enough.

Today I've already written 1000, and the night, as they say, is yet young, so, who knows, another successful day?  We'll see.

If you're on this crazy journey, good luck, and I hope you're enjoying it.  It's great to be part of a worldwide family of slightly insane dedicated, hard-working devotees of novel writing.

For the rest of you, have a relaxing day:-)